Friday, May 28, 2010

Between sleep and waking

In fevered dreams
you talk of bumbershoots
and dinner parties.

Your restless hands pluck the air
pulling wisps of memories
into place.

You call for "Mom"
and laugh at silent jokes
only you can hear.

You are in the thin place
between wake and sleep,
life and death,
real and imagined...

I hope you are closer to God
there and here in the dreams
I cannot enter,
the world I cannot see,
the place I cannot be.

There is a part of you
lost to me right now.
A part I cannot hold.

I can only wait.
Pray.
And Hope.
For your safe return.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pillow talk

Last night as the rain fell and the thunder rumbled
I lay close to you
hands clasped and feet touching.
We whispered our fears to one another,
Our hopes and dreams that might not be.
We wondered where this road was leading
as we saw the dark valley ahead
with no light yet.

The rain softened and the thunder faded
but on we talked
remembering moments of our lives before:
Before illness,
Before fear,
Before loss,
Before the unknown.

We laughed and we cried
but we held on.
And we will continue to hold on.
To each other,
to our friends
to our family,
to our vows.

For better or worse,
For richer or poorer,
In sickness and in health
Until death us do part.

But even Death will not part us.
We are one, in spirit, in soul, in our hearts.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Uneasy dreams and restless spirits...

Last night I kept having lucid dreams. Restless and surreal dreams...
Or as Wikipedia explains: A lucid dream is a dream in which the sleeper is aware that he or she is dreaming. When the dreamer is lucid, he or she can actively participate in and often manipulate the imaginary experiences in the dream environment. Lucid dreams can seem extremely real and vivid depending on a person's level of self-awareness during the lucid dream.[1]

The term was coined by the Dutch psychiatrist and writer Frederik van Eeden (1860–1932).[2]

In the dream(s) I kept waking up in different bedrooms from my life: the lavender room of my childhood in Summer Shade, the cold room in Astoria, Queens, the guest room at my mom's last home, various dorm rooms, apartments and hovels I have lived in over the years. Each time I "woke up" I would look around and say out loud, "No, I am not there yet." I would fall back into the dream within a dream only to "wake up" somewhere else...
Amidst all the dreams people from my past appeared, restless spirits beckoning and calling for me. Some still alive but changed in real life, some long dead and dearly missed.
I often felt like I was really visiting with these relatives, friends, pets and teachers from past times in my life. Sometimes the meetings were joyful reunions, such as when my mother covered me in the lavender bedroom, brushed back my bangs and kissed my forehead.
Others were troubling, involving me seeking lost pets, calling out, seeing them in the distance, just out of reach. Lost to me once again.
I often base my evaluation of my stress level on my dreams. I have no idea what my level is based on last night's dreams.
I am stressed, I am grieving, I am hopeful in the midst of despair. I am overwhelmed by life, by love, by small kindnesses and the generosity of spirit I encounter on my daily walk.
Life is changing quickly, disturbingly so at times.
My family is waging a battle. 3 members are actively fighting cancer: the hubster, Big Bro #1 and my favorite Aunt. I am looking for answers, asking questions and trying to understand all that is whirling around me.
Finally, I realized I have discovered not only my strengths but also my limits. I have asked for a month of personal leave from my job that I love. Giving up my clients even for a short time feels like a loss.
And I have grown weary of losses. Too many times in the past few years, my heart has cracked and broken. Too many times, Death has stolen a loved one.
This time, I hope to win. I hope we win. No more restless spirits tonight. I am hoping for peaceful sleep and quiet dreams.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Doctor day...

Tomorrow is doctor day. First Jake and MO go to the vet. Jake gets his first set of adult vaccinations and yearly adult physical. MO gets his geriatric workup. Now the elder of our little family since the death of Buddy at age 22, MO has been a little off. Nothing major. Just not a kitten anymore at age 15 going on 16. As hard as it is to believe the giant 70 something pound dog was just over a year ago my 10# puppy, its harder still for me to believe that MO is no longer a kitten that I carried in my pocket at the vet clinic. Life has become so swift of late. Again as many times before I want to slow the moment, linger in comparative contentment with no changes.

But life is not to be stopped.

Also the hubster goes back to the doc to find out treatment options for his cancer. Again, I want to stop time, even rewind, replay those moments when we were fairly carefree.

Is it really all an illusion? Does memory trick us into believing that there were times when all was right and we were content and secure? Or will I look back on this dark time and remember only pain and fear? I hope to remember instead the friends who came forth, who stood by us and let us lean on them. Will I remember the love, the blessings the abundance in what currently feels like a time of deprivation and loss?

The mere fact that I am realizing there is love, blessings and abundance is key. The fact that I recognize there is darkness means I have known the light and trust in its return.

Memory is what I make it. I am choosing to make it good.

Sturm und Drang

Sturm und Drang (German pronunciation: [ʃtʊʁm ʊnt dʁaŋ]) is the name of a movement in German literature and music taking place from the late 1760s through the early 1780s, in which individual subjectivity and, in particular, extremes of emotion were given free expression in reaction to the perceived constraints of rationalism imposed by the Enlightenment and associated aesthetic movements. The conventional translation of the term is Storm and Stress; a more literal translation of Drang might be "urge", "longing", or "impulse")


The rains finally stopped. I loved the booming of the thunder, the cool wind blowing, the sound of rain on our tin window awning, the diffused gray light slipping through the lace curtains.

I discovered in its aftermath, the storm flooded many areas of KY and TN. The pictures are wild. The force of nature unleashed, swirling waters rocking cars and trees past videographers, acres of land under water...

Sturm and drang. Its all a matter of perception.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

"It ain't cancer research"... Well actually it is.

The past month has been a roller coaster ride of fear, peace, anxiety, laughter, tears and most of all Love.

It began when the hubster found a lump on his neck during his ritual spring shearing of the beard. It was rather hard and about the size of an egg. By the time we had it checked, CT scanned, PET scanned and tested it was closer to a grapefruit...
The doc whisked him to surgery, removing a tonsil, some muscle, a nerve, several lymph nodes and his right jugular. A 3 hour surgery became a 6 to 7 hour surgery and the dreaded word was spoken: CANCER. Squamous cell carcinoma. Now we know possibly why he was so tired, so down, so not the hubster for the past few months.

We don't know what is in the road ahead. The doc got all the visible tissue. But there is still radiation and possibly chemo to come.

On top of this we have conceded the battle for the house. The bank can have it. We are moving on. Clearing out. Leaving a lot of stuff behind as we take a new route.

I have alternated at times between fear and anxiety. A year ago I was a basket case. Now. Well now I am calmer. Oh, I still cry and have my moments of anger, but for the most part I have found a peace that passeth understanding. I have learned a lot during this time. What is important. Who is important. God, family, friends, the furfaces, the kids I work with. All else is just stuff. Memories are attached to some of it. But I can keep the memories and let go I hope of the stuff.

There is so much to say, to write but my mind is tired and swirling all at once.

However I gotta get on the road of life and start walking again... maybe into the arms of God to rest just for a little while.
THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD
THAT LEADS TO YOUR DOOR
WILL NEVER DISAPPEAR
I´VE SEEN THAT ROAD BEFORE
IT ALWAYS LEADS ME HERE
LEAD ME TO YOUR DOOR

THE WILD AND WINDY NIGHT
THAT THE RAIN WASHED AWAY
HAS LEFT A POOL OF TEARS
CRYING FOR THE DAY
WHY LEAVE ME STANDING HERE
LET ME KNOW THE WAY

MANY TIMES I´VE BEEN ALONE
AND MANY TIMES I´VE CRIED
ANYWAY YOU´LL NEVER KNOW
THE MANY WAYS I´VE TRIED

BUT STILL THEY LEAD ME BACK
TO THE LONG WINDING ROAD
YOU LEFT ME STANDING HERE
A LONG LONG TIME AGO
DON´T LEAVE ME WAITING HERE
LEAD ME TO YOUR DOOR

BUT STILL THEY LEAD ME BACK
TO THE LONG WINDING ROAD
YOU LEFT ME STANDING HERE
A LONG LONG TIME AGO
DON´T KEEP ME WAITING HERE
LEAD ME TO YOUR DOOR

Thank you God for my circle of support.